Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Warwickshire Places (6) : Henley-in-Arden

Henley-in-Arden is a small town near to Wootton Wawen and about half way between Warwick and Stratford-upon-Avon. The first mention of Henley-in-Arden dates from the reign of Henry II in the twelfth century. Henley-in-Arden became a market town in the shadow of Beaudesert Castle (which no longer exists) on the hill which overlooks the town.

The church of St Nicholas (officially in Beaudesert though only a few metres from the High Street) dates from 1170 and may be built on earlier Saxon remains. Near to is is the slightly younger church of St John the Baptist on Henley High Street. Next to the church of St John the Baptist on Henley-in-Arden's High Street is the Guild Hall. Like the church the Guild Hall is also of fifteenth century origin [1]. Although some original timbers remain the building has been extensively restored. The Guild Hall is still used for meetings of the ceremonial Court Leet who meet every November.

The Court Leet has been meeting since at least 1333. Nowadays the Court Leet has no legal jurisdiction but administers the Guild Hall Trust which owns the Guild Hall and some other properties in the town.

Nowadays Henley-in-Arden is an affluent little town inhabited mostly by people who are retired or work elsewhere in the nearby larger towns and cities though there are many eating places in the town and it is well known for its ice cream. Henley-in-Arden is served by a railway station on the North Warwickshire Line.
Guild Hall

Henley-in-Arden station

One of the many pubs in town

Henley has many historic buildings

A tractor passes through

Church of St John the Baptist

[1] Nikolaus Pevsner & Alexandra Wedgwood, Warwickshire (Penguin, 1966) p. 310